Thanks to Marian Duggan, Western People for a very good article on the proposed development planned for Kilmovee Village.
Kilmovee has long been associated with providing community services, and a housing project with supported living for older people is its latest venture.
Ten supported homes for those over 60, a group home and communal facilities are part of Kilmovee Community Housing’s plans for a site in the centre of the village.
“It’s a new kind of development, a new way of supported living. It’s for people who want to stay in their homes and have their own front door for as long as possible,” explained Director of Kilmovee Community Housing Tommy Horan.
The development, which will sit on a 4.2 acre site, also includes a 1km looped walk with outdoor exercise equipment and a playground.
“This project is for young and old – for everyone in the community, “ added Community Centre manager Sheila Hunt. (Kilmovee Community Housing comes under the umbrella of Kilmovee Community Centre).
Plans have been drawn up by Eugene Waldron and Associates and meetings have taken place with Mayo County Council to discuss the proposals. While the group bought the site from their own resources funding will be sought from both the local authority and Department of Housing to erect the development.
Before the project goes before planning officers the housing group consulted locals this week and the feedback was “fantastic”.
“We’re very excited about it, explained Mr Horan.
It’s not the first time the organisation has provided homes for the community. In the 1990s eight social houses were built in the village, two for families and six for older people. Over the years there has been a waiting list for the houses with the services in the nearby community centre making them very popular.
“The idea was that people living in rural areas who felt they needed to come into a more urban setting could be supported. Now there are people who are looking to stay in their own homes as long as possible with some assistance. And when they can no longer do that there will be the option of the group home,” said Mr Horan.
The ten two-bedroom supported houses will be built around a central courtyard with a six-bedroom group home next door and communal facilities available to all. Accommodation will be provided for a manager/caretaker to live on site.
Both community activists are adamant there is a need for supported living in Kilmovee.
“I have no doubt if we built twice as many houses there would be demand for them. Between Kilmovee, Kilkelly and surrounding areas the demand is there,” said Mr Horan.
A funding application for the walkway has already been submitted under Sports Capital Funding and once Clár funding is announced an application will be made to support the playground development.
Kilmovee is renowned for its community services. Meals on Wheels, a laundry, recycling centre, heritage centre and astroturf pitch are among its assets but this latest project is a step up.
“It ties in well this week with the Rural Futures Plan. It’s all about having houses in rural villages, keeping villages alive and keeping the older people in villages,” said Ms Hunt.
“It’s too late for many rural communities but this would be a brilliant way of revitalising the community. Kilmovee has a history of getting things done,” added Mr Horan.
The village has been chosen as one of a few broadband hubs and individual work units and private office space is expected to be open in the centre later this month.
The Community Response team has done trojan work during the pandemic with 85 meals delivered on St Patrick’s Day. And a new polytunnel has been erected with gardening courses for children and adults expected in the coming weeks when restrictions allow. Volunteers are currently sought to help out with the gardening.
Meanwhile, work will begin on developing sites along the heritage trail this summer with funding secured last year.
“It’s the personal touch at all times. People are at the forefront of what we do. We strive to do what we can for the,” said Ms Hunt.
Anyone interested in securing a place in the new accommodation should contact Kilmovee Community Centre on 0949649484.